Is it possible to set up an auto-reply to an incoming text or iMessage, either on my iPhone (or the connected Message app on my Mac)?

Ideally I'd like to customize this depending upon the sender.

  • Have a look at Workflow. Maybe there is a way to automate sending texts. – pallox Nov 8 '17 at 11:00
  • Workflow doesn't seem to address what I'm hoping to do. It does, however, look like an interesting and possibly useful app. So thanks, pallox, for providing the link. – Bosque Bill Nov 8 '17 at 15:19
  • I just came accross this post on reddit. It does not describe, what you are looking for, but it may be a point to start from? – pallox Nov 8 '17 at 16:19
  • One more: Have a look at IFTTT. Haven't tried it out yet but just came across this and it looks very helpful on the first sight. – pallox Nov 18 '17 at 11:34
  • I did look at IFTT, but it didn't seem to do what I wanted to do. I was hoping there was some sort of simple auto-responder for texts, but I guess not. Thanks anyway. – Bosque Bill Nov 18 '17 at 15:47

Although this solution will NOT allow you to change your response based on sender to the extend your might like it, you can still adjust some settings.

Note: This solution is more of a workaround.

In iOS 11, Apple introduced Do Not Disturb While Driving. In Settings>Do Not Disturb you can specify who you want to auto reply to (No One, Recents, Favorites, or All Contacts) and what you would like to say. If you choose Favorites, you can add favorites my going into the Phone app, Tapping one Favorites, and pressing the Plus button in the upper right corner. Finally, in Settings>Do Not Disturb>Activate, select Manually.

To activate/turn on & off your auto replier open control center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and tap the Car icon to turn on DND While Driving.

The message you specify will be sent to the contacts your specify.

  • 1
    That's a clever workaround. DnD is supposed to be more powerful in iOS12, maybe there will be additional opportunities for creativity then. Thanks. – Bosque Bill Jun 11 at 13:11
  • @BosqueBill I have the iOS 12 beta and currently and unfortunately there’s no improvement that pertains to this specific problem. – JBis Jun 11 at 13:16
  • Rats. Oh well, thanks for your comment. – Bosque Bill Jun 11 at 17:31

Apple does not provide this on iOS 11 or earlier since there are automation hooks to send a message, but not to be notified and act upon incoming messages. The Workflow app is the first place I look on iOS to see if there are hooks, but since Apple bought that company - we'll see what happens with iOS automation and iOS 12. I wouldn't expect this is the sort of automation that Apple rolls out first, but I could be wrong on that speculation.

On macOS - you might have more luck with AppleScript and the Script Editor - there is a standard message suite that used to work with IRC / chat for received messaged. I would start on MacOS to script something if you don't mind leaving your Mac logged in, not sleeping and handing off the reply ability.

addressed message receivedve : This handler is called for incoming messages that are addressed to you. If the handler returns a text value, it will replace the incoming message.

addressed message received text : The text of the incoming message

from buddy : The buddy who sent this message
for text chat
with text : A text description of the event

The buddy object would let you link this to the send assuming this triggers for iCloud messages in addition to old text messages.

The Messages app dictionary has a send command that accepts text so you should be able to make a simple script to send a stock message to a specific contact. The dictionary also has an event handler suite where received messages can be processed - so you could also test that.

I don't know of anyone writing up code, but the basics look to be there on macOS but not on iOS.

  • Since Apple stupidly removed iMessage AppleScript Handler, I don't think it is possible to do what your talking about. I just created a script that would do it if the options ever came back. – JBis Jun 10 at 22:23

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